Los Angeles Government Alleges the Weather Channel App Illegally Obtained User Location Data

The Weather Channel app user location data collection through its mobile app was obtained unlawfully, according to a Los Angeles prosecutor…

The city of Los Angeles has filed suit against The Weather Channel over it’s misleading millions of users about its personal location data collection practices. 

Los Angles Sues the Weather Channel over Unlawful User Location Data Collection

The Weather Channel ranks among the most popular in its market in the United States and it’s garnered a number-one rating in the iOS App Store. It’s been downloaded more than 100 million times, currently claiming 45 million monthly active users.

The suit alleges the weather reporting organization tricked users into enabling location tracking in order to deliver more precise forecasts.

However, the corporation did not disclose the fact it monetized collected user data, as well as use the information for purposes unrelated to weather alerts and outlooks. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims the company also used the data for targeted marketing, along with hedge fund analysis:

“For years, [The Weather Channel] has deceptively used its Weather Channel App to amass its users’ private, personal geolocation data — tracking minute details about its users’ locations throughout the day and night, all the while leading users to believe that their data will only be used to provide them with ‘personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts.'”

The city of LA is seeking civil penalties and an injunction from the state of California under its Unfair Competition Law.

IMB, which owns the Weather Company, responded: 

“The Weather Company has always been transparent with use of location data; the disclosures are fully appropriate, and we will defend them vigorously.”

This action follows as public awareness grows about how digital entities profit from the data they collect from users.

Bill Boyles

Bill is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.